Oww! Chili

Warning! Chipotle Hazard! I like mild chili, really, but when it comes to chipotles, you have to be prepared to take responsiblity for your own pain. The faint of heart should move on to the next recipe. Check out my chipotle torotilla soup, while you're at it!

3 lbs ground or whole sirloin
9 fresh poblano peppers
3 medium onions
3 10-oz cans Rotel diced tomatoes
9 dried chipotle peppers
2 dried red New Mexico chiles
1 Tbsp ground comino (cumin seed)
three cloves garlic
5 fresh chopped sage leafs
2 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano -or- 1 tsp dried oregano
First, the chile sauce. Cut off the tops of the dried New Mexico chiles to remove the stems and seeds and to expose the interior, leaving them as whole as possible. Cut the tops off of the chipotles, and cut them lengthwise to extract seeds. Set all of the chiles simmering in water or broth (just enough to cover) while we move on with the other items.

Chop and saute the onion until lightly carmelized (browned). If using whole sirloin, slice it thin across the grain. Add the meat to the onion and saute the meat until grey. Add the tomatoes and spices to pot and bring to simmer for an hour.

Now, back to the chile sauce. Remove the New Mexicos from liquid (after they have softened; about 30-40 minutes) and cut them in half, length-wise. For each half, carefully scrape off the inner pulp with a flat knife. Then scrape the pulp off the knife into a blender. Add the remaining liquid, garlic cloves and chipotles, and blend into a beautiful sauce. For your own sake, put the cover on, and resist the temptation to smell this up close, or you will go "oww!"

In spite of having written these wise words, and having read them dozens of times, I still can't stop myself from taking a whiff. It always hurts, but I always do it. It this the essence of my being? My Chiliness?

Add the sauce to the pot, and simmer another 1-2 hours until the meat is tender.

Blister poblanos in a broiler (burn skin till black, both sides), and then put in a plastic bag for a few minutes. Dig this aroma! Remove skins and chop. Add to pot for last 20 minutes.

Serve with ice-cold milk - the weak-hearted will immediately look around for relief!

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Copyright © 1994-2006 Wayne Preston Allen. All rights reserved.